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Profile of captured A6M 'Akutan Zero' fighter with US markings in San Diego, California, United States, Sep 1942

Caption     Profile of captured A6M 'Akutan Zero' fighter with US markings in San Diego, California, United States, Sep 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Army Air Force
More on...   
A6M Zero   Main article  Photos  
Added By David Stubblebine

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Nov 2015 03:11:11 PM


Photograph shows Koga's A6M2, Model 21 Zero
after being rebuilt by US Navy mechanics, engine and airframe specialist. The Zero was a well built
airplane and had many advanced features such as an enclosed cockpit canopy, radio, up-to-date flight instruments, retractable landing gear its airframe was built with flush rivets to reduce drag. The Zero was the world's first long-range carrier-based fighter.


Koga's Zero was test flown against US aircraft to understand its strength and weakness, it lacked armor protection for the pilot and its fuel tanks, it had excellent maneuverability and range Allied pilots learned how to fight against the zero.


As the war progressed the A6M Zero was improved to keep up with Western designs but its time as a first class fighter passed. In the hands of a combat veteran pilot, the zero was still a deadly fighter.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 Nov 2015 03:06:10 PM


Reports of the A6M Zero over China were filed away and ignored. Such reports were just to hard to believe, the Japanese were looked upon as a third rate country, most of their aircraft designs were out of date or copies of western designs.
When the US finally got its hands on a Zero, that had crashed on Akutan Island and was salvaged, shipped to the USA, rebuilt and test flown by both Navy and Army pilots, the Zero was well a built aircraft it had excellent maneuverability and
long range.
However, it lacked armor protection for the pilot and fuel tanks it was built light as possible, but had great strength. With this information Allied pilots had a way to take on the Zero in combat.


Koga's Zero shown in above file photograph was
armed w/2 x 7.7mm machine guns mounted in the upper fuselage some sources list 500 rounds per gun, while other sources list 680 rounds per gun and 2 x20mm cannons w/60 rounds per gun
The Zero could also carry 2 x 60kg bombs under the wings, but this was not recommended, as it would reduce maneuverability and limit its turning radius.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
17 May 2016 08:09:21 PM


Photograph of Koga's A6M Zero it was rebuilt and tested at North Is NAS, San Diego, Ca. later a/c was transferred to NAS Anacostia Wash. D.C. in 1943. Numbered (TAIU -1). Returned to San Diego to train pilots how to fight against the zero.


In February 1945 the zero was written off in a ground accident. As the zero was taxiing, for its takeoff a Navy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver rammed into it destroying the aircraft with its propeller the pilot in the zero survived.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 Dec 2016 06:20:24 PM


Did you know that the US Navy conducted secret wind tunnel tests on the captured A6M2, Zero shown in above file photo.


The Zero was transported under wraps by armed Naval personnel. The fighter was taken to a full size wind tunnel and tested, technical measurements were taken for drag, lift, flight controls and other technical data.
After tests, it was returned to Anacostia NAS. In 1943 the Zero was put on display along with other US aircraft at an annual aviation day celebration and was camouflaged in standard navy blue/gray.

5. Bill says:
10 Dec 2016 05:16:17 PM


Koga's A6M2, Model 21 Zero
photographed on the Langley Flight-Line March 8, 1943.
Note installation of NACA wing-tip boom for flight tests.

Petty Officer Koga's Zero was completed on February 19, 1942, s/n 4593 at Mitsubishi's Nagoya Aircraft Factory. Did you know Koga was issued a parachute that was manufactured by Fujikura Heavy Industries on September 9, 1939, aircraft also has a one man life raft.
Aircraft had built-in floatation bag for emergency water landing.

Gun-sight Manufactured by Sendaida Optical Works Corp. Many of the aircraft components were not copies, but built under license in Japan from different countries.


The Zero was armed w/2 x 20mm cannons w/60 rounds per gun, and 2 x 7.7mm fuselage mounted machine guns w/500 rounds per gun, some sources list 680 rounds per gun.

The Zero carried no armor protection for the pilot, fuel tanks were unprotected in the wings and fuselage or the engine.
The Zero was built as light as possible and was very maneuverable.
When the Zero was designed Japanese engineers drew on world-wide information that was available to them, plus their own knowledge and engineering skill, along with the requirements ordered by the Imperial Navy.
Mitsubishi took up the challenge while Nakajima withdrew from the design
proposal but later on it developed the A6M2-N Rufe seaplane fighter and manufactured under license over 6,000 A6M Zeros...
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
11 Dec 2016 03:22:02 PM


File photo shows Petty Officer Koga's A6M Zero on the Langley flight line, March 8,1943 Aircraft was 99.9% re-built by Navy technicians.


Did you know that U.S. Marines guarded the hangar 24/7 during its re-build, and admitted authorized personal only.
File photo shows the Zero camouflaged in standard US Navy blue/gray. Note installation of NACA wing tip boom on starboard wing, used for flight testing.
Information gained from the Zero helped US and Allied pilots fight against it in air-to-air combat.
Koga's Zero was built at the Mitsubishi Nagoya Airplane Factory on February 19, 1942
The US Navy found a new aircraft, that crashed landed on Akutan Island, Alaska this was about eight (8) months into the war with Japan...

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